With all of the health issues related to smoking, it's no surprise smoking is banned inside, but now several of West Michigan's biggest hospital groups are banning Cigarettes from being lit anywhere near their buildings.
Most hospitals in our area have smoking huts, designated areas for smokers to take a cigarette break. But at Bronson smokers are being warned that starting October 1st this will no longer be an option.
Plenty of hands can be spotted holding Cigarettes outside Borgess Medical Center, but they know it won't last for much longer. Starting October no smoking rules will begin at hospitals like Battle Creek Health System, Bronson Methodist and, Borgess Medical Center, just to name a few.
"We believe its part of our responsibility to take a leadership role," said Lois Vandonselaar, Chief Nursing Officer at Borgess.
The goal is really to promote a healthier community. It's a goal initiated by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association who has encouraged all hospitals to ban smoking by next year. As of this month 85% of Michigan hospitals have joined the cause.
It's going to be a challenge; many of the staff that smoke have done so for a number of years. Years of addiction that each hospital has vowed to help those who want to quit.
"Its very exciting we have about 20 people that are on the quit path, makes my heart go pitter patter," said Danna Downing, of Bronson Wellness Services.
For those who don't want to quit, they'll just have to wait till they go home, because no smoking at hospitals means no smoking anywhere on campus, parking lots and cars included.
At Bronson, the current smoking huts will be turned into bike racks also to promote a healthier lifestyle